Stories in Florida

Environmental Education and Outreach

Our science-based education and outreach programs in Florida provide enriching experiences to better understand the critical role that nature plays in our lives.

Two women observe insects at night during the Blowing Rocks Preserve BioBlitz.
Blowing Rocks BioBlitz Two community members study native insects at night during the Blowing Rocks Preserve BioBlitz. © Rachel Hancock Davis/TNC

Connecting People and Nature in Florida

Our goal for science-based environmental education and training is to inspire and prepare the next generation of conservationists through inclusive and engaging learning environments. Providing access to on-the-ground and virtual educational experiences will help foster a deeper understanding of the critical role that nature plays in our everyday lives and helps ensure future advocates for conserving our natural resources.

Our formal and informal conservation education and training programs are successfully providing valuable and impactful learning opportunities for K-12 students, college students and natural resource professionals. These programs and activities provide opportunities to connect with TNC, experience nature and be inspired to step up and speak up for nature.

We seek to create an inclusive environment for all people and communities that will inform and expand their awareness and appreciation of nature. Feel free to browse our programs for educators and the community and watch our educational videos.  

Logos for TNC and the Center for Conservation Initiatives.
CCI Center for Conservation Initiatives © TNC

TNC Florida's Center for Conservation Initiatives (CCI) advances conservation through education and training, outreach and volunteerism, science and research, and land stewardship. Learn more.

Community Conservation Programs

We offer a number of ways to get involved with educational opportunities, programs and activities such as shoreline clean-ups, sunrise sessions for artists and birders, virtual lectures and much more. New events and opportunities are always being added, so check back for the latest happenings.

To have the latest information sent to your email inbox, we invite you to subscribe to our preserve e-newsletters for Blowing Rocks Preserve in South Florida or The Disney Wilderness Preserve and Tiger Creek Preserve in Central Florida.

Youth Educational Resources and Activities

Want to learn more about the plants and animals that call our TNC Florida preserves home? Or want to challenge your environmental knowledge? Check out these cool and free downloadable guides. Be sure to visit this page again as we upload more fun resources.

  • Guide to the four phases of the frog and toad lifecycle; includes a drawing of a bullfrog.

    Biology 101—Amphibian Lifecyle

    Learn more about the complete metamorphosis of frogs and toads—from egg to adult. Appropriate for elementary to middle-school-age youth. Download

  • Fact sheet highlighting the gopher tortoise, hatchling, and an artistic view of their burrow.

    Keystone Species—Gopher Tortoise Facts

    As Florida's only native tortoise, the gopher tortoise plays a vital role as a keystone species. This information is appropriate for elementary to middle-school-age youth. Download

  • Blowing Rocks word search for different animals, plants, and habitats.

    CCI Brain Games—Blowing Rocks Word Search

    Challenge yourself to find all of these words. Appropriate for middle-school-age youth. Download

  • Fact sheet for the brown Florida bonneted bat; includes a closeup photo of the bat.

    Endangered Species Profile—Florida Bonneted Bat

    Fast facts about Florida's endangered and largest bat species. These Florida bonneted bat facts are appropriate for middle-school- to high-school-level youth. Download

Environmental Resources for Educators

Nature Lab and Kahoot!

TNC and its scientists created Nature Lab to help students learn the science behind how nature works for us and how we can help keep it running strong.

Also explore our collection of interactive quizzes about prescribed fires, coral reefs and more on Kahoot! All of our Kahoot quizzes can be used alongside Nature Lab videos to create a fun and interactive learning experience for students.

Traveling turtles trunk containing turtle replicas and educational materials designed to teach students in Florida about sea turtles.
Traveling Turtles Trunk The trunk contains turtle replicas and educational materials designed to teach students about sea turtles. © Kate Tillery/TNC

Traveling Turtles Trunk Program

In partnership with InWater Research Group, teachers in South Florida's Martin and Northern Palm Beach counties can bring FREE hands-on, experiential conservation education to their classrooms through the Traveling Turtles trunk program. The trunk contains four engaging lessons that take students on a journey through conservation while highlighting the amazing world of sea turtles. The trunk includes ready-made lessons for both in-person and virtual learning.  For in-person instruction, all you need to do is copy student worksheets!

Book the turtle trunk by registering with our CCI portal—select “Book a Facility or Resource” then follow the Blowing Rocks Preserve link.

Download the Flyer

The flyer provides all the details about the Traveling Turtles Trunk.


This program is a great introduction to the sea turtles of Florida. Students will learn about what makes a sea turtle a sea turtle, as well as nesting habits, how to sample a population like real scientists and how to collect data from their very own sea turtle model.

This program can be incorporated into youth environmental education programs within the life science, natural science or physical science disciplines.

Reserve Your Trunk

Submit a request to reserve the Traveling Turtles Trunk for your students.


Trunk Contents:

  • Skull replicas of the five sea turtles observed in Florida’s waters.
  • Corresponding food item for each species.
  • 10 individualized model turtles.
  • 10 calipers.
  • Measuring tapes.
  • Scale.
  • Lesson binder and jump drive.
  • Plus, interactive videos!

Review our step-by-step Traveling Turtles Trunk instructions, then reserve your trunk.

Trunk Guidelines:

The trunk may be rented for up to three weeks with extensions provided when possible. Sharing is encouraged among teachers to maximize student reach. Borrowing one of our trunks is completely FREE, but teachers must read through and acknowledge the responsibilities and requirements prior to registering for the program.
NOTE: Trunk dimensions are 23″ H x 37" L x 23" W and each trunk program weighs up to 60 pounds. Please bring a vehicle large enough for transport and another person to assist with loading and unloading.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, please note these guidelines and procedures to keep our community and staff as safe as possible:
  • The trunk may only be picked up or dropped off at Blowing Rocks Preserve Wednesday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Trunk pickup and drop off require teachers to bring an additional person to assist with loading and unloading.
  • Lesson plans have been modified and digitized to support social distancing in the classroom and distance learning.
  • Trunks will be sanitized based on CDC regulations between each reservation.

Educational Videos on Conservation Topics

This series of videos was recorded during our Blowing Rocks Preserve Lecture Series in 2021. Learn more about our upcoming events.  


Migration of Blacktip Sharks in Southeast Florida

Migration of Blacktip Sharks in Southeast Florida (55:29) Dr. Stephen M. Kajiura, professor of biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University, monitors shark abundance in Florida. These sharks have shifted their distribution to higher latitudes in response to warming oceans, which could have cascading effects through the food chain.

Harmful Algal Blooms in the Indian River Lagoon

Harmful Algal Blooms in the Indian River Lagoon (1:11:13) Dr. Malcolm McFarland, research associate & lab manager with Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, speaks about harmful algae blooms threatening ecosystem stability, human health & local economies. Learn about algal bloom dynamics in the Indian River Lagoon.

South Atlantic Seascape

South Atlantic Seascape (57:20) TNC's Mary Conley, southeast marine conservation director, and Robert Crimian, southeast ocean conservation specialist, speak about the seascape spanning from North Carolina to the Florida Keys. Learn about TNC's marine conservation strategies and new sustainable fisheries work.

Saving the Last of South Florida’s Pine Rocklands

Saving the Last of South Florida’s Pine Rocklands (54:46) Sarah Martin, TNC South Florida land conservation manager, speaks about the critically imperiled pine rockland ecosystem, which has rapidly diminished due to unbridled development and climate change. We're working together with partners to conserve this important habitat.

Great American Outdoors Act

Great American Outdoors Act (41:10) Garrett Wallace, TNC Florida government relations director, details this landmark legislation & what it means for Florida’s future. Passed June 2020, the act fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund & makes critical investments in national parks, public lands & Bureau of Indian Education.